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Air freshener inspectors

Is there no matter over which state lawmakers will acknowledge they lack jurisdiction?

Assemblyman Paul Aizley, D-Las Vegas, rose Monday to present Assembly Bill 234, which would set restrictions on the use of pesticides, fragrances and candles to accommodate people with chemical sensitivities.

Proponents said air fresheners give them migraines or asthma attacks and prevent them from going to the movies or to restaurants. A cocktail waitress testified that inhaling the fragrances piped through her employer’s ventilation system make her feel like she has a concrete slab on her chest.

Critics responded that a new law banning air fresheners and candles in public places could prohibit priests from using candles and incense in celebrating the Mass. AB234 could affect everything from candlelit restaurants to weddings, not to mention leaving unmasked bathroom odors that could repel tourists.

A century ago, our great-grandparents walked streets festooned with the leavings of thousands of horses, the aroma enhanced by flies and open sewers. Those who could afford it poured on scent to mask those odors. Everyone survived.

Today’s businesses want to keep their premises agreeable to customers. If there’s enough demand for methods that don’t offend the hyper-allergic minority, inventors in search of profit will respond.

Our current smoking ban is not enforced because of a shortage of trained staff and funding. Yet the Legislature now proposes to fund squads of air freshener inspectors?

No action was taken by the Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee. Good.

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